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[no subject]

Yes, ^S and ^W do the same thing at interrupt level. The difference is
that ^S is also a forcefeed character at readtime and when it is seen
by the reader, it does (SETQ ^W NIL) again ... ^W when seen by the reader
is just ignored. So ^S is less permanent than ^W.

I can't answer why ^B is not a number like all others -- someone from
farther back will have to try that one ...